Swole Panda: The Side Hustle Case Study Series

Fashioning a Side Hustle in the digital age

Websites have empowered an age of side hustlers to break free of the confines of their day jobs. To realise their true potential. And this isn’t a fad. It’s a trend.

Take Swole Panda, makers of sustainable clothing and accessories from ethically sourced bamboo. Today, the outfit has fashioned a place in the cultural fabric as a pioneering business. Species of bamboo equal to the height and width of a tree take as little as three years to mature completely, making it one of the most sustainable natural resources the planet has provided.

With each Swole Panda purchase, you become part of the movement pioneering a more sustainable future.

Everything, of course, has to start somewhere. And Swole Panda’s roots can be traced back to university where Oliver and James Slacke started the venture as a side hustle.

The side hustle universe(ity)

Oliver Slack the co founder of Swole Panda and a dedicated follower of the side hustle fashion

During Geography Studies at King’s College London, Oliver and his brother identified a gap in the market for eco-friendly accessories.

“I was learning about sustainable development and the sheer impact humans are having on the natural environment. I wanted to create an accessories brand that would combine style with sustainability, minimising this impact. This led me to explore alternative resources where I came across bamboo.”

Managing their side hustle wouldn’t be easy. They’d need to juggle it with their degrees and part-time jobs.

Planting the (bamboo) business seeds of success

The brothers’ side hustle has grown into a fashion mainstay, featured in British GQ, London Fashion Week, Attire Accessories, Boat International and Motorboat.

“Starting a side hustle means you have to be both organised and efficient,” advises Oliver.

Swole Panda’s website and digital presence, he adds, have been the coathanger upon which the business has been built.

“Having a website allows you to do all of this, and also makes the barriers to entry in the global market place almost non-existent.”

Follow Swole Panda on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Side Hustle Report: A Way of Life, Not Work

Oliver and Swole Panda features in research released by GoDaddy and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) which reveals that side hustling is a growing trend in the UK. The number of side hustlers – individuals who run their own businesses on top of their day job – has risen by 32% in the last decade.

Check it out here:

Matthew Pattinson
Matthew is the director of design and marketing agency, CMA. The political journalist, turned freelance writer, turned agency heads, works to the adage that strategic thinking is the soul of creativity. That, and coffee is essential.